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[uh-sid-ee-uh n] /əˈsɪd i ən/ Zoology
any solitary or colonial tunicate of the class Ascidiacea, exhibiting in the larval stage the vertebrate characteristics of a notocord and hollow nerve cord.
belonging or pertaining to the class Ascidiacea.
Origin of ascidian
1855-60; < New Latin Ascidi(um) a tunicate genus (see ascidium) + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ascidian
Historical Examples
  • Chabry had published in 1887 some interesting results on the ascidian egg, which strongly supported the Roux-Weismann theory.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • So that in this respect the ascidian larva is nearer to the original type than the tadpole or any other existing animal.

  • The ascidian has only one eye inside its useless brain, while the tadpole and all other vertebrates have two from the very first.

  • He further observed the maneuvers executed by the crab to secure the attachment of an ascidian to its shell.

  • When retracted it has the aspect of an ascidian, and for a time was supposed to belong to that group.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • Castle77 observed and studied the phenomenon of self-sterility in an ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, which is hermaphroditic.

  • He pointed out also that the "notochord" was confined to the tail of the ascidian larva.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • Appendicularia is a curious little ascidian, differing from all the others in its possession of a tail.

  • If nature endowed an ascidian with the power of acquiring moral faculties, it was bound to use them as soon as it had got them.

    Modern Skepticism C. J. Ellicott
  • Now, in all the long line, from the ascidian upwards to man, nature had supplied none but physical wants.

    Modern Skepticism C. J. Ellicott
British Dictionary definitions for ascidian


any minute marine invertebrate animal of the class Ascidiacea, such as the sea squirt, the adults of which are degenerate and sedentary: subphylum Tunicata (tunicates)
ascidian tadpole, the free-swimming larva of an ascidian, having a tadpole-like tail containing the notochord and nerve cord
of, relating to, or belonging to the Ascidiacea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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